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 Ethanol gas can damage car engines—Petron; major oil company na nagsabi

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PostSubject: Ethanol gas can damage car engines—Petron; major oil company na nagsabi   Tue Sep 08, 2009 7:11 am

Ethanol gas can damage car engines—Petron
By Amy R. Remo
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 04:53:00 09/08/2009

Filed Under: Oil & Gas - Downstream activities, Road Transport, Alternative energy

MANILA, Philippines—Oil refiner and retailer Petron Corp. has warned that the current ethanol-blended gasoline (E-10) could damage car engines and urged the Department of Energy to come up with clearer specifications for the fuel blend.

Petron chair and chief executive Ramon S. Ang said they had received many reports that the current blend is “highly corrosive.”

According to Ang, the company wrote the DoE last month requesting new guidelines to help protect motorists.

The Philippine Daily Inquirer was unable to get a comment from the DoE as of presstime. The E10 blend is still being sold in gasoline stations.

Ang said in a briefing that the alcohol mixed with gasoline could do much damage to a car’s gas tank, fuel pump, carburetor and fuel injector, among others.

The problem, he said, was that the government did not specify that there should be a dehydrator to remove the water content, which is what makes the ethanol-blended gasoline (E10) highly corrosive.

“That’s why Petron wrote to the DoE. If we push E10, we have to prepare the correct specifications to prevent damage to cars,” Ang explained.

“Right now, the DoE together with the industry is formulating the specifications and the guidelines. They are studying it. What we are saying here is based on the experience of motorists and our own experience as well,” Ang said.

Under the Biofuels Law, all oil companies are mandated to pre-blend 5 percent ethanol in gasoline-fueled vehicles starting February 2009 and increase this to 10 percent by 2011. Most of the oil companies began pre-blending 10 percent ethanol in their gasoline products as early as 2008, way ahead of the mandate of the law.

In a separate phone interview, Petron president Eric O. Recto said the company was still “in the middle of collating data to help the industry understand the potential impact of ethanol (on vehicles).”

“We have empirical evidence coming from all over but we’re not done with the information gathering—a few more weeks or a month maybe to complete (it)... ethanol has certain negative effects on car engines,” Recto said.

He noted that the move is an initiative of Petron, but was something they thought would benefit the rest of the oil industry.

“Let me put it this way, there are pluses and minuses in using ethanol and we just want to make sure that both sides are studied and heard first,” Recto said.


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